Pro-Family Leaders from 63 Countries Attend World Congress of Families V in Amsterdam Last Week
August 19, 2009
MEDIA ADVISORY, (christiansunite.com) -- Pro-Family leaders and groups from 63 nations attended World Congress of Families V in Amsterdam last week. Roughly one-third of the over 900 delegates were Dutch. Other nations represented included the United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, the U.K., Ireland, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Romania, Poland, Latvia, Moldavia, Slovakia, Russia, Nigeria, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Pakistan, Australia and the Philippines. More than 3,000 people around the world watched the live telecast via the internet.
More than 100 plenary session and panel speakers discussed such topics as: the effects of child care, the value of a faith and family approach to counseling, the rights of parents in school and home-schooling, threats to the family from addiction to Internet pornography, the public purposes of marriage, the power of the African family, the impact of declining birth rates, fertility and human dignity, the role of religion in stabilizing families, media and the family, the role of mothers and fathers, human trafficking in women and children, HIV and AIDS, the impact of international law on the family, abortion, euthanasia and other life issues and character education and the family.
There were also special reports on the two prep-cons (preparatory conferences) leading up to WCF V -- The Riga Family Forum (May) and The Dialogue of Civilizations in Abuja, Nigeria (June).
WCF V Speakers included Andre Rouvoet (Dutch Minister for Youth and Family), Kevin Andrews (MP, Australia), Marika Bertule (Latvia Family Forum), His Majesty Drolor Bosso Adamtey I (Ghana), Dr. Allan C. Carlson (WCF founder), Bishop W.J. Eijk (Archbishop of Utrecht), Dr. Farooq Hassan (Pakistan Family Forum), Marie Claire Hernandez (The Family Network, Mexico), Rabbi Binyoman Jacobs (Chief Rabbi of the Netherlands), Dr. Richard Land and Paige Patterson (Southern Baptist Convention), Gwen Landolt (REAL Women of Canada), Elder Russell M. Nelson (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), Theresa Okafor (Foundation for African Cultural Heritage), Prof. Rekha Pande (India), Simon Polinder (chairman, Dutch LOC for WCF V), Fr. Jaroslaw Szymczak (Institute for the Family, Warsaw), Francisco Tatad (former majority leader, Philippine Senate), Christine Vollmer (Latin American Alliance for the Family), Anna Zaborska (head of Women's Rights and Equality Commission, European Parliament) and Prof. Anatoly Antonov (Moscow State Lomonosov University).
WCF V produced the Declaration of Amsterdam, which included the following principles:
"We define the natural family to rest on the lifelong marriage of a man to a woman, for the purposes of welcoming and nurturing new human life, providing love, companionship and mutual support ... and strengthening the bonds of the generations."
"We affirm that the future of nations rests on families that are spiritually grounded. Religious organizations should be free to uphold their own moral teachings about marriage and the family in the public square."
"We affirm that the natural family exists prior to the state. Public policies must respect this family autonomy."
"We call for sound law and policies that will ... guard vulnerable human life, especially at the beginning and end of the life cycle."
"We identify declining birthrates as the core demographic problem facing the 21st century."
Click here to read the Declaration of Amsterdam in its entirety. For more information on World Congress of Families, go to www.worldcongress.org.
Possible sites for World Congress of Families VI (2011) include: Canada, Bolivia, Spain, Italy, Ghana, Nigeria, Latvia, Russia, Australia, South Africa, India and Malta. Vote for your choice by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Final proposals/bids will be due by November 30, 2009.
The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 60 countries that seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the 'seedbed' of civil society (as found in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948). The WCF was founded in 1997 by Allan Carlson and is a project of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society in Rockford, Illinois (www.profam.org). To date, there have been four World Congresses of Families -- Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004) and Warsaw, Poland (2007). The fifth World Congress of Families was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, August 10-12, 2009 ( www.worldcongress.nl and www.worldcongress.org).